It’s been less than a month since Google+, the latest and brightest social network was launched. It’s way too early to give any diagnostic as whether this may take off or flop. But it’s also pretty clear that this new digital service got a lot of momentum.
As one of its earliest adopters, I must say I enjoy being there, at least for now. It may be just the novelty or the fact that it’s still comfortably not crowded. But it’s also a fact that the entire launch was pretty impressive. So impressive, that I thought it would be fun to isolate at least 5 things everyone can learn form Google+ launch.
1. Keep Your Innovation Circles Running
By far the most impressive and striking addition of Google+ is the “Circles” feature. Based on a real life metaphor, where you organize your life in circles of friends, this feature instantly filled a gap in social conversation that neither twitter or Facebook (despite their somehow similar “lists”) were able to cover.
Using circles is stupendously easy. Not only you get a visual interface where you can just drag and drop avatars of your friends into various circles (something that was never present in other mainstream social networks) but it’s also very conveniently arranged when you actually share something. Making your entire social interaction easier and comfortably granular.
So, just because things are in a certain way it doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own touch. Challenging the status-quo may look difficult, but, as long as you keep an eye of what’s need to be done, you’ll see your spot. And it will be much easier than you think it is.
2. Expect The Best, But Plan For The Worse
The “invitation only” launch system, made famous a few years ago by Google’s second most popular service (Gmail, that is) worked very well this time too. So well, that at some point Google had to stop the invitations flow, in order to maintain a working infrastructure.
During the invitation “blackout”, the public service continued to work as expected. In line with other Google services reliability, I must add. But it is very easy to see how Google+ could have become the victim of its own success. Happened before with Twitter and it’s famous “fail whale”, and we all know that.
So, whenever you start a new project, expect the best. But be aware of the fact that the “best” may come with many unforseen expenses. Take them into account and don’t let yourself become the victim of your own success.
3. Underpromise And Overdeliver
Google was quiet about this. It didn’t set up great expectations (if you don’t take into account their fantastic presence in other digital areas) so nobody would have expect something out of the ordinary. Especially since they had their blunders before with Orkut and Wave. (Yes, it’s my personal opinion that those two services where just flops).
But what they delivered was very good stuff indeed. The contrast between the user expectations and the delivered product is always a good thing. And this time Google hit the nail in the head with this new social network. Many were already so wired up in Twitter and Facebook that they simply couldn’t believe something new may be possible.
Whether it’s business or personal, I found that underpromising and overdelivering is incredibly fulfilling. Just don’t be so loud about your strengths, goals or ambitions, but when it comes to put them to work, just do your best. It will not only make your social interactions smoother, but it will also add a certain taste to your life. A “success” taste, that is.
4. Leverage Your Strengths
Google+ uses Gmail, which, apart from being very popular, is also controlled by them. It also uses a bar in the Google search page where it displays notifications. And it integrates many of the company features at almost any thinkable level: for instance, the +1 button may have a much powerful effect on search engines than the “likes” on Facebook, or “retweets” on Twitter.
Apart from innovation, good preparation and the element of surprise, Google also leveraged their traditional strengths in a very impressive way. The feeling of “completeness” comes exactly from this integration of all their familiar services in a simple, yet very easy to use interface.
So, whenever you’d wanna go on fresh territories, remember that you still have a personal history. And many things from this personal history may prove extremely useful in those future journeys. Something we may tend to forget, especially when the thrill of a new venture or relationship is firing up on our adrenaline.
5. Just Be There
They say showing up is 80% of success and I tend to very much agree with that. If you want to do something, just do it. If you want to go somewhere, just go. If you want to play, just be in the playground and start doing your moves.
That’s exactly what Google did with Google+. They could have just acknowledge the failure of their previous attempts in this filed (among them Orkut or Wave) and call it a day. But instead, they continued the game. They stayed there.
You can’t win a game if you’re not playing. As simple and as dumb as it may sound, this rule is the one that gets ignored most of the time. You can’t live an entire life on wishful thinking, it’s just not possible. You gotta be out there and play your role.
So, are you on Google+? How do you find it? Do you have anything to add to these 5 things? Feel free to let me know in the comments.